By on January 30, 2010

Update: To see all of TTAC’s related articles on the subject of Toyota gas pedals, go here:

In yesterday’s post , we offered a bounty for anyone to open up both the CTS (bottom) and Denso (top) Toyota gas pedal assemblies. No one took us up, and no one anywhere else has done it, so we took it upon ourselves . Here they are, both e-pedal assemblies taken apart and examined, in our quest to understand if and what the significant differences are, and how Toyota’s possible “shim” fix would work.  On initial observation, it appears that the CTS may be perceived as being the more solidly engineered/built unit, in that the pedal pivots on a traditional and solid steel axle whose bearings are brass or bronze sleeves. The Denso’s whole pivot and bearing surfaces are relatively flimsy-feeling plastic. But that can be deceptive, and we’re not qualified to judge properly if it is indeed inferior or superior.  So the question that goes beyond the analysis of these e-pedals is this: are these units really the full source of the problem, or are they scape goats for an electronics and/or software glitch? Pictures and tear down examination and analysis follows:

Update #2: It’s clear to me now that the CTS unit I took apart already had the side cover plates (sheet metal) removed before I examined it. One can see where they fit, and are obviously intended to protect the exposed axle pivot and bushing seen above and below:

(Update #3: Also see our follow-up stories on Toyota’s fix and our replication of the fix and its results)

(Read More…)

By on November 23, 2009

When I started writing for TTAC, I could never have imagined the wild ride I was in for. Luckily I’ve been able to draw on wisdom and support of a number of TTAC’s contributors, not the least of whom was my dad, Paul Niedermeyer. He first suggested that I start blogging for TTAC, and his seemingly infinite knowledge of all things automotive has been a constant resource for me. Now, I’m pleased to announce that he will be stepping up to be my Managing Editor. In addition to his twice-weekly Curbside Classic series (and who knows, maybe a few more Auto-Biographies), Paul will be developing new content, blogging stories in his formidable areas of expertise, and filling in for me when my work pulls me away from the keyboard. I can’t imagine a better person for the job, and together we hope to bring TTAC to new heights.

By on November 9, 2009

CC 52 015 clue

Still too easy! rpol35 unveiled the ’68 Chevy on the first guess. Must try harder to make it harder. And why is this color so popular in Eugene? Did Maaco get a deal on a tanker truck’s worth? Did I make it hard enough yet?

Update: Someone said it was plenty hard indeed. OK; Hint: we’re looking at the right (passenger side) rear quarter.

By on September 22, 2009

Imagine...

Look at the picture above. Now pretend it’s your rearview mirror. That giant set of batwings is right behind you and gaining; now it pulls into the fast lane. A couple of teenagers grin as they zip by you ass-backwards at seventy miles an hour. The front grille of the ’59 Chevy slowly recedes in the distance ahead. If you spent any time on the roads of Cincinnati around 1969, this may well have happened to you.

(Read More…)

By on September 21, 2009

Think you can hang?

All right, all you expert sleuths of vintage chrome moldings and extruded textures. I will once again try to stump you and will undoubtedly fail. I apologize for the lack of resolution, but it’s a small crop. And you’re too good. A shout out to last week’s winner, 6c1500, who nailed the stick-shift Caddy early on.

By on August 11, 2009

After being trapped six weeks in a 1971 time warp, I had the controls of the Curbside Classics time machine all set for the mid-eighties. But once again, fate interceded. Running some errands, I had my first encounter with no less than two 2010 Camaros. Then, on the way home, something called out to me as I tooled down Franklin Boulevard. I found it parked behind the old boarded-up Chevy dealer, and it had an important message for you and me: “beauty is not in the eye of the beholder; it’s in the object itself.” (Read More…)

By on June 30, 2007

Unless you live under a highway, an empty box has no intrinsic value; it’s what’s inside that counts. The Dodge Grand Caravan we bought in 1992 was little more than a big dumb box on wheels. But by the time I got rid of it fifteen years later, I’d filled the Caravan with a lifetime of family memories. (Read More…)

By on January 27, 2007

My first memories are of the womb. The enveloping warmth, the soothing sounds that correlated to alien activity. I remember the sensations of being propelled: forward, stop, turning, forward again, the gentle g-forces rolling me delicately from side to side, ensconced in my snug compartment on all sides, conscious of the rounded form that surrounded me. My first ride was a VW. (Read More…)

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